Monday, September 10, 2018

Wildstar Closing, Eve Online Sold

Last week had some big news in the MMO world. NCSoft announced that Wildstar and Carbine Studios would be closing down. Eve Online developer CCP was purchased by Pearl Abyss, who make Black Desert.

Wildstar Closes

This news is unsurprising. The game never got traction. Even a switch from subscription to F2P didn't help. Apparently there was a lot of internal drama in the studio as well. There are a lot of potential causes for Wildstar's failure: the focus on the hardcore, the polarizing marketing campaigns, the telegraph action mechanics, the sci-fi'ish setting.

I think Wildstar's base mechanics just required too much intensity for an MMO. Casual play was tiring. I remember giving up at level 15 or so in the beta because it was just too much.

I also saw a comment saying something similar about high end gameplay. It was challenging enough that "farm mode" really never existed, and even high-end raiders got exhausted with the pace.

Also, being sworn at on level up really, really annoyed me. Hopefully, every game takes this to heart and never does it again.

Previous posts on Wildstar:

Black Pearl buys CCP

The most amusing thing about this is that it pretty much shuts up Eve Online partisans from now on. "Oh, the game that was bought out by a Korean publisher" is a leveller in any argument.

Though, honestly, I think this was more about CCP being unable to make a second successful game and grow as a company. Eve Online becomes a division of a larger company and the stockholders get to cash out.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Eve. Everyone fears more aggressive monetization, but I think if Eve is relatively stable in revenue, that won't happen. It's quite an old game now, so I don't think anyone is expecting it to suddenly spike in popularity.

It will also be interesting to see if Eve gets a Korean version. That market might be more receptive to a cutthroat PvP game like Eve.


  1. "...pretty much shuts up Eve Online partisans from now on"

    I'm going to guess that you haven't run into that many real EVE Online partisans.

    1. Heh, deep down, in their heart of hearts, they know this is a fatal blow. They can bluster, but it doesn't change the facts.

    2. I'm sure the EVE crowd will be perfectly fine with this move, given that this sort of thing is par for the course in EVE itself.

  2. I have to wonder whether Pearl Abyss merely wants greater Western market exposure, or if there's something else they're looking for. EVE Online is so different than any other MMO that I really don't know how they'll fit into Pearl Abyss, and that's not even taking into account the corporate culture.

    1. I've seen a lot of chatter that this move is about China. Apparently China is putting up roadblocks to Korean game companies, and CCP already has a fair amount of experience and partners with the Chinese market.